Cake Neon, Brick, Windows (B&W)

Arden (Sacramento), CA

Cake.  You can have your cake and eat it too… at least during factory business hours.

(As always, click on the image to see it in 700px cakey goodness.)

Already out of the foothills and into Sacramento for lunch, the plan was to visit as many interesting old industrial, preferably abandoned, buildings as possible.  A search of google the night before yielded very few possibilities.  Some buildings have been repurposed into new businesses, some were promising until arson claimed the buildings (juvenile facility on Power Inn Road), in very suspect areas of town, or locked up tight.  Even the abandoned new outdoor mall in Elk Grove was inaccessible due to security personnel.

Hearing news blurbs over the last few years on the bankruptcy of Wonder Bread and Hostess Cakes, I was not sure if the “bread factory” in north Sacramento was still in operation.  Either way, it was worth checking out.  Drawing closer to the factory, it became fairly evident the building had not been abandoned yet.  First, it was the bright red glow of the neon letters facing the busy highway.  Second, it was the unmistakably good smell of fresh bread in the air.

I decided to pull into the employee parking lot and start shooting photographs.  On occasion I would see the employees inside stare out at me wondering why on earth I would be taking photographs there.  In trying to research on the history of the building, I ran across images from 2007 from another photog.  Instead of these long panes of glass partially seen here, opaque glass/acrylic cubes were in place.

Processing for this photo began with editing the color image (link below), which I thought was a decent effort.  Of course, with all things architectural, a round of processing through Silver EFex Pro 2 might yield a better B&W.  And that is exactly what happened.  While I liked the color original, mainly due to the bright red neon against both the brick building and the clear blue sky, the B&W photo seems to have come out better.  Thoughts?

Alternate/original color version:

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, 26mm, ISO 100, 1/8 sec, f/9

Cake Neon, Brick, Windows (B&W).  Arden-area (Sacramento), California. September 08, 2012. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


2 thoughts on “Cake Neon, Brick, Windows (B&W)

    1. Thanks James. An initially tough composition to figure out. I went from trying to fit the entirety of the 5-word neon sign that extended across the width of the building (achieved) to isolating certain words and phrases.

      It’s odd that this building and specifically the neon letters have not been photographed more. Most people know about the building by name and it is clearly visible from a major highway. A search of Flickr and Google images for “Wonder Bread Sacramento”, “Hostess Cake Sacramento”, or some combination of those terms yields only a few hits.


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